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Posted November 21, 2017 by Becky Hall in Comics
 
 

Comic Book Movie Review: Wonder Woman

©DC Films/ Warner Bros. Pictures

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Danny Huston
Director: Patty Jenkins
Release Year: 2017

Wonder Woman has become something of a phenomenon since its debut on the silver screen earlier in 2017. For years we’ve been denied such a gift because we were told that female led superhero movies, especially ones directed by women, just don’t sell.

© Rotten Tomatoes

Lol.

©DC Films/ Warner Bros. Pictures

From beginning to end, Wonder Woman is a blast. The casting is perfect; Gal Gadot is undoubtedly the star, but she’s by no means the only one to shine. Robin Wright as General Antiope gave me a serious case of heart eyes, and what I found completely wonderful is that there was no attempt to make her look anything other than a war hero. An island full of women, and not a single one was sexualised, not even Diana. While the armour might be skimpy, its design is based on efficiency, inspiration clearly taken from Greek and Roman sources. Halle-frickin’-lujah! Chris Pine was a great choice for Steve Trevor, but, honestly, Gal Gadot dominated every scene, and while he was able to keep up, I didn’t feel like he ever managed to escape from her shadow. Their entire dynamic basically consists of Steve Trevor following Diana around shouting “Diana, no” while she, at every turn, is only “ Diana, yes!”, and every time I want to punch the air in triumph. You frickin’ go girl!

©DC Films/ Warner Bros. Pictures

Wonder Woman is noticeably different from its fellow DC movies, both visually and in tone. It’s more brightly coloured (although Man of Steel was arguably just as vibrant), and it’s also more positive; hope and love are strong themes throughout, especially during the final climactic fight scene. It’s a shame that we couldn’t avoid those clichés, but it wasn’t irritating enough to ruin the film for me.

©DC Films/ Warner Bros. Pictures

Awesome fight sequences are a staple of any good superhero movie, and those in Wonder Woman more than meet expectations. There are two in particular that stand out.

The first big battle scene shows an army of Amazon women absolutely destroying the invading force of German sailors, and it’s amazing. Slow motion is used to great effect to highlight every badass moment, from warrior women flying through the air throwing knives to Robin Wright shooting arrow after arrow and hitting every damn target. The shots are crystal clear, the action is gripping, but even more so is the sequence in No Man’s Land. I flailed, I’m not going to lie. Everything about that scene was awesome, the shot of Diana striding across the desolate wasteland, facing down an entire line of enemy soldiers with the men following in her wake… “She’s done it!” they cry as they pour over the top and follow her into battle. I LIVE.

©DC Films/ Warner Bros. Pictures

The dialogue, on the other hand, was variable. It had some great moments, more so than not, but it also churned out gems like “and if it is what I think it is… it’s going to be… terrible”. Barf. Which brings me nicely onto Dr. Isabel Maru. What a tragically wasted character. Far more interesting than the teeth-grindingly boring Ludendorff, Maru clearly had some Issues. Not only was she fascinated by the science of her craft, she seemed to enjoy seeing the suffering she inflicted. We see a glimpse into her character into a great mini-scene between her and Steve Trevor, but her back story is never elaborated on, and she serves only as a puppet, serving both Luddendorf and Ares. And of course she is disfigured, so she must be evil. *rolls eyes back into skull*

The villains, altogether, were by far the weakest part of this movie. David Thewlis, while a terrific actor and enjoyable to watch as Lord Patrick, made for a thoroughly unconvincing Ares. It was nothing to do with his acting, more the choice to CGI his body onto that of a… well, of a Greek god. It was jarring to the point where it jolted me out of the narrative, which is never what you want from a film.

Conclusion: the plot was dicey in places, but the action sequences and dynamic between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine were phenomenal and Gal Gadot herself shone in every scene. It was by no means perfect, but I’ll certainly be watching WonderWoman again and again, especially when I want to feel inspired and empowered.

©DC Films/ Warner Bros. Pictures

Superhero rating: 8.5/10

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